Sigvor Overby

August 8, 1922 - July 31, 2019

Service: Sigvor requested no services be held and her body be donated to the USD Medical School.

       Sigvor Overby died Wednesday, July 31, 2019 at 96, just a week before her 97 birthday. She had a full life and met her tough times head-on.

        Sigvor was born in Norway in 1922 and lived through the five-year German occupation of her homeland 1940-1945. She came to America in 1947 without knowing English. Slowly she learned the language listening to the radio and in talking with neighbors and her husband, Martin.

        Martin died in 1954 leaving Sigvor with three young kids, the oldest just five. With her husband’s two sisters initially helping to pay off the mortgage, she kept the house. She took in laundry and did ironing for neighbors and went to Canton High School for two years at the age 35 to learn typing and shorthand. She became a citizen in 1955 after seven years residence.

        Sigvor became a Deputy Clerk of Courts in 1961 and finally Clerk of Courts in 1972. It was an elected office at that time and she was reluctant to run. When someone asked why she wasn’t on the campaign trail, Sigvor in all modesty asked “Would you really vote for me,” and the person who I think was Judge said “heck yeah” or words to that effect.

        She remained Clerk of Courts of Lincoln County for 20 years, retiring in 1992 at the age of 70. There were a number of trips to Norway in the 90’s and she enjoyed volunteering, playing bridge, and being in a group of 8-10 former court house gals who for years would rotate meeting in each other’s houses every Tuesday morning for coffee and rolls.

        She was only five feet tall but with her character, some people a lot taller would stand in her shadow.

        There was no funeral per her wishes and her body was donated to the University of South Dakota for medical research.

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  1. Janel Kaltenbach on August 1, 2019 said:

    This is such sad news for me. Sigvor was a very devoted mother and friend. I will miss her so. I know she is at peace. Until we meet again my friend.

  2. Sandi Lundstrom on August 1, 2019 said:

    Bless her heart. I haven’t seen Sigvor for a long time but I always remember her coming to the beauty salon to get pretty. She was a spunky, fun person.

  3. Deb Sorensen on August 3, 2019 said:

    LOVED hearing her life story a few years ago–amazing how you KNOW someone for so long but DON’T KNOW them!!! SHE WAS AN AMAZING woman!! Deepest sympathy to all her family and FRIENDS!

  4. Gudny Hagen Bakken on August 11, 2019 said:

    Two beautiful sisters born and raised in Tylldalen in Norway. The family was poor but rich in love and laughter. In adulthood, one moved to Tolga in Norway and the other to the United States. Contact was maintained regularly through both good and tough times.
    Two small and tough sisters who managed to leave a mark for almost an entire century. One turned 95 and the other nearly 97. They outlived their 6 brothers and died in their sleep quietly 10 days apart on either side of the Atlantic.
    In loving memory of aunt Sigvor and her sister Norunn.
    From Gudny & family

  5. Vicky Willcox on September 26, 2019 said:

    I will miss my dear Aunt Sigvor! She had more energy than anyone I knew and never lost her cute Norwegian accent. She endured hardships but didn’t ever complain or say an unkind word about anyone. She would always find the positive and had such a sense of humor – even when to my great embarrassment my dog had an accident at her house. She said to the dog: “well, I’m so glad you got rid of that!” She was a proud American but had a special place in her heart for Norway. She enjoyed showing me the beauty of Norway on trips we took together to visit family.